Speechwriting is a confidential service. You don’t know if that speech delivered by a rival was excellent because she got help. A speechwriter has terms and conditions and the client can supply confidentiality agreements when appropriate. Here are some descriptions of the jobs I have done over the past 15 years. They illustrate the specific services a speechwriter offers:

Powerpoint SlidesWriting Keynotes

I had a contract to write speeches for the Chairman of a global FTSE 100 company. I had to read all his previous speeches and articles, consult with different departments and report to the company secretary. I got to meet the Chairman every couple of months for about 15 minutes. I had to do research into the policies of the organisation and read brochures, reports and relevant books. I also worked on after-dinner remarks for big banquets.

Cost £3,000 to £5,000 + VAT each speech based on an hourly rate


RewritingRewriting

A managing partner of a law firm had written a 2,500-word overview of the past 12 months to be delivered as an address at the Christmas dinner. As a solicitor she was used to drafting legal documents. It needed shorter words and a warmer tone to engage the support staff and the lawyers.

£100 per hour + VAT


GroomGroom Speech

A chart-topping act was appearing at a celebrity wedding for a fee of over £1m. The groom had written a speech thanking every member of his extended family for their contribution to his upbringing. It lasted 45 minutes. I advised him that he was in danger of over-running and thus curtailing the set of the band he had employed at considerable cost. The speech was cut to 5 minutes.

Cost £500 + VAT


PresentBirthday Speech

I was asked by a banker to write a speech for the retirement of a business owner. The distinguished business owner had a much younger second wife. The speaker wanted humour, but nothing that would cause embarrassment.

Cost £500 + VAT


TrainingTraining

Along with professional trainer, Alan Barker, I delivered a workshop to twelve employees of a union. We agreed the objectives in advance. Alan gave them a basic introduction to the skills involved in speechwriting at their offices. I offered insights into the practical problems of speechwriting. We introduced the delegates to the basic techniques and at the end of the day I delivered the speeches they had written and gave them feedback. We discussed the merits of each speech, and saw how powerful the simple techniques can be.

Cost for Brian Jenner and Alan Barker working together at your premises £1500 + VAT per day


AugmentationAugmentation

Most people write essays, not speeches, because that’s how we’re all trained at university. A speechwriter can very quickly ‘supercharge’ a speech. An accountant at a London firm drafted a speech based on a 20,000-word report which was about to be published. It was my job to rewrite the speech adding the pleasantries and translating the dry examples into something more colourful for the audience, which didn’t have English as a first language. It took one day.

£100 per hour + VAT


Wedding CakeBest Man Speech

I have written over 100 best man speeches since 1999.

Cost £500 + VAT


CelebrateFather of the Bride Speech

British dads find it very difficult to find appropriate material for their daughter’s wedding. It’s a tricky mix of humour and emotion. My favourite story, which I drew out of a client, was how he felt when he dropped his daughter off to university for the first time. Driving home he had to stop on the hard shoulder of the motorway to shed a tear.

Cost £500 + VAT


Visiting SpeakerVisiting Speaker

I was invited to The Hague to speak to the Dutch Government Speechwriter network about my work as a speechwriter and how I founded the European Speechwriter Network. I was also invited to Wellington College in Berkshire to speak to sixth formers about my work. In 2014, I spoke to students at Regent’s Park College, Oxford on entrepreneurship.

Cost negotiable


Script ReadingScript Reading

If you want me to take a look at your script, please email it to me. I’ll read it for a fixed reading fee. A best man once sent me a 6000 word speech detailing his conversations in the pub with the groom over the years. Two sentences of that script made the final cut. A blind entrepreneur sent me his presentation to improve. It was moving, funny and beautifully written. Some people can write brilliant speeches with no help. At other times, as the screenwriter puts it in Sunset Boulevard, ‘it’s interesting to see just how bad, bad writing can be.’

£50 + VAT